Wednesday, February 22, 2012

Wildcats, Aggieville and.... Tomatoes?

If you've followed this blog much at all over the last two years, you probably know two basic things about us:  1) We are K-State fans and 2) we live on a farm we call Green Acres, after the 1960's TV show, because we don't actually farm, and I'm not normally the outdoorsy type. 

Dave and I attended K-State in the late 70's/early 80's.  He left with a degree and I left with a husband and we were both happy. We frequently travel to Manhattan for football and basketball games.  We've had season tickets at various times - even one year when we lived 250 miles away (bad idea!) Our closet is full of purple shirts; we have purple hats, purple socks, purple coats, purple golf bag, purple club covers, there are purple dishes in our kitchen, purple rugs in the bathroom, my dish soap is even purple.  If there is a color option, we almost always choose purple.  How does this connect to Green Acres?  Follow along...

When we moved into Green Acres last year, we inherited a lot of beautiful flowers and a lovely garden spot from the previous owner who, the locals tell us, turned these two acres into a showplace back in the 70's - brick paths leading to immaculate flower beds; shrubs, perennials and annuals selected to have continual color throughout the summer; even roaming peacocks.  There was even a separate and complete kitchen in the basement she used only for canning.  Unfortunately, the house sat empty and the gardens untended for a good many years while the owner was in a nursing home.  Only after her death a few years ago was the house sold and re-occupied.  We are slowly beating back the overgrowth, cutting up the dead wood and rediscovering the brick paths under the grass. I added a few annuals in pots and in the flower box attached to the front of the house, but otherwise we spent most of last summer just discovering what is already here.

Except for the garden. I have never been a gardener - I once planted some tomatoes and peppers in an unused flower bed, but the rabbits ate more of them than we did. We have always lived in town, where the combination of limited yard space and children and dogs wanting to use that yard, kept us from trying anything more.  But, faced with all this space - not to mention all the neighbors asking if we had our garden in yet - we decided to try our hand.  We planted tomatoes, peppers, carrots, green beans, cilantro, cucumbers, lettuce, cantaloupe and watermelon.  We planted everything from seed and we started way too late.  Never saw hide nor hair (nor leaf) of a pepper or cilantro plant - not sure what happened there - the carrots met with an unfortunate weed-eater accident, we harvested enough beans for about 3 meals, and every time a melon got big enough to be recognizable, a dog recognized it as a ball and ran away with it.  However, we had bumper lettuce, tomato and cucumber crops, so not a total wash for our first try.  In the process we learned a lot about soil preparation, planting season and protecting melons from dogs.  This year we are  prepared, we are enthused and we are going purple!

Through Twitter, I met a lovely lady named Kelly (@toesandtomatos), who has recently started her own heirloom seed business. I didn't really know what an "heirloom" seed was but it did make me wonder if purchasing quality seed rather than the 10 for a dollar variety at Wal-Mart might produce a better crop (cause I'm sharp that way!) so I paid a visit to Kelly's website, The Art of Seed.  What I found were some amazing tomato and pepper varieties that I had never seen or heard of - and some of them were PURPLE AND WHITE!  So, in our garden this summer you will find, Lord willing, some Black Cherry Tomatoes alongside Great White Tomatoes. Go Cats!

Photos courtesy of The Art of Seed
We're also going to throw in some Mini Chocolate Bell Peppers because their brown color has a purplish hue - and they're just so darn cute! - plus some regular red tomatoes and peppers as well.

One thing led to another, as things on Twitter often do, and I also met another lovely lady, Jan, (@twowomenandahoe) who had featured Kelly's story on her beautiful purple blog, Two Women and a Hoe (which is a portion of her web-site dedicated to her awesome landscaping business).  If you have any interest in gardening, landscaping or just like to look at pretty pictures, I encourage you to visit both of these sites, meet these women and get inspired to start making your garden/landscape plans.  In spite of what that groundhog said, summer will be here before you know it.


  1. How generous of you, Tami! I really enjoyed your post! Thanks so much!

    May all your gardens grow,

  2. I like the idea of planting your garden to reflect your fan-ship. GO WILDCATS!! I sure hope you'll take picture of colorful produce. I'm off to visit your friend with the heirloom seeds.

  3. Thank you for the gardening info - that you've distracted me from the purple love. I have a front door that is purple. My mailbox is purple. I have a purple star hanging on one side of the house (and no, it doesn't mean anything - everyone asks.)
    My chiro asked me if all I ever wear is purple! but that's because the best pants to wear to such a visit are my purple velour loungewear. I was shocked and saddened that the salon I got a gift cert to didn't have ANY good ksu purple for my toes. Aint right. Next time I will bring my own polish. I love purple...